Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan
In the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, stands the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort. It is the biggest fort in India, and covers an area of 1,200 acres (486 hectares). Originally known as Mihirgarh (Fort of the Sun) it later came to be known as Mehrangarh; Sun was the chief deity of Rathore Rajputs. The complex is located on a hilltop around 122 metres above the surrounding plain, and was constructed by Rao Jodha the ruler of Rathore clan of Marwar in 1459.
The fort is located at the centre of the city spreading over 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) on top of a high hill. Its walls, which are up to 36 metres (118 ft) high and 21 metres (69 ft) wide, protect some of the most beautiful and historic palaces in Rajasthan.
Entry to the fort is gained through a series of seven gates. The most famous of the gates are: Jai Pol ("Gate of Victory"), built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806 to celebrate his victory in a war with Jaipur and Bikaner,
Fateh Pol, built to celebrate a victory over the Mughals in 1707; Dedh Kamgra Pol, which still bears the scars of bombardment by cannonballs; Loha Pol, which is the final gate into the main part of the fort complex. Immediately to the left are the handprints (sati marks) of the ranis who in 1843 immolated themselves on the funeral pyre of their husband, Maharaja Man Singh.
Within the fort are several brilliantly crafted and decorated palaces. These include, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana. The museum houses a collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes, and furniture. The ramparts of the fort house preserved old cannon (including the famous Kilkila), and provided a breath-taking view of the city.
Mehrangarh Fort is perhaps the only one that have never been breached by any invaders!It’s wall rises in places to a height of 120 feet and is 70 feet thick !! Rudyard Kipling called it “the work of giants”.